Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell and I have this recurring nightmare: It’s Game 7 of the World Series, Dodgers-Indians, and the Dodgers lose thanks to a home run by Yasiel Puig.
I think we all quickly discovered one very important thing over the weekend when the Dodgers played the Yankees:
Those Players Weekend uniforms were hideous.
Seriously, someone in charge at MLB should have had the common sense to say “Hey, we are matching up our two most iconic franchises, the two teams with the most iconic uniforms, the teams with the two best records in baseball, and we’re going to dress them in this?”
I have nothing against Players Weekend. The nicknames are fun. Yes, it’s a cash grab to get fans to buy these new uniforms, but there are a lot of good things about it. But an all-white uniform, on which you can’t even read the nickname? Or an all-black uniform on a 100-degree day?
I don’t want to sound like “Old man yells at cloud,” but it was a big mistake. It shouldn’t have happened. Wear the hideous uniforms during batting practice and switch to the real uniforms for the game.
I don’t know all the behind-the-scenes politics, but if I was the Dodgers, I would have seriously considered just wearing the regular uniforms and taking whatever fine they would have given. I’m sure Clayton Kershaw would have paid it (see how generous I am with other people’s money?)
Seriously though. Next season, someone in MLB needs to check the schedule and if you have a huge matchup one weekend, MOVE PLAYERS WEEKEND TO A DIFFERENT WEEKEND. Sorry to shout. I checked Twitter too, and I found only one person who liked the all-white uniforms. And I’m now sending her my best wishes on her obvious vision problems. Might I recommend LensCrafters?
However, I do now have an uncontrollable urge for some ice cream and to paint my house.
OK, so what did we actually learn from the series?
--The Yankees are really good. They are much like the Dodgers in that they work the count, making the opposing pitcher work hard for every out. They have a lot of power. If this was a World Series preview, then it will be an awesome World Series.
--Watching the Yankees, I thought “This must be what it feels like to be a fan of other teams when they play the Dodgers.”
--The Dodgers looked nervous throughout the weekend. They were a bit impatient at the plate, swinging at pitches they normally take. The whole weekend had a playoff-like atmosphere, so hopefully they can take something away from it.
--Let’s hope that Kenley Jansen found his old self when he escaped that bases-loaded, one-out jam on Saturday by striking out two Yankees.
--There were way too many Yankees fans in the stands. Come on, if you are going to sell your tickets to someone, don’t sell them to an opposing fan, especially when the playoffs roll around.
--Hyun-Jin Ryu looks tired out there. He has given up 10 runs in 10 innings and is in danger of losing control of the Cy Young race. Perhaps an extra day off for him would look good?
--Tony Gonsolin looks like he would be a fine addition to the postseason roster.
--Series like this one is why I have become a fan of interleague play.
--Does this give either team the upper hand if they do happen to meet again? No. The playoffs are an entirely different beast.
--The emails poured in as soon as the final out was made Sunday.
“The Dodgers have no chance to win the World Series.”
“The Yankees are much better and will easily win it all.”
“This season is over.”
I just don’t understand this type of fan. A fan who just gives up at the first sign of bad times. A fan who must not have studied baseball history at all if they think these three games mean anything.
Were the Yankees the better team this weekend? Yep. Did the Dodgers fail to rise to the occasion? Yep. What does this mean for a potential World Series matchup? Nothing.
To use just one example, the 1988 Dodgers lost to the Mets 10 times and beat them only once. They were outscored 49-18 in those games. And then the 1988 Dodgers beat the Mets in the NLCS.
So, by all means tell me how disappointing the weekend was. Tell me the Yankees were the better team this weekend. Tell me various Dodgers did not step up to the plate and seemed overmatched by it all. Tell me it makes you nervous about the playoffs.
But to tell me it means the Dodgers won’t win? Do me a favor and stop watching now. Because why bother if you already know how it’s going to end?
You are looking with your heart and not your logic. The Angels defeated the Dodgers all four games this season. I guess that makes the Angels the best team in baseball.
The Yankees lost three of four to Arizona. Good thing Arizona isn’t going to the playoffs. They have lost every game to Oakland. Better hope they don’t meet them in the playoffs.
In short, it would have been great if the Dodgers had swept the Yankees. But if they had, would you be saying it guarantees they will win the World Series? No? Then why the opposite?
It’s possible the Yankees lose in the first round of the playoffs. It’s possible the Dodgers lose in the first round. It’s possible the Washington Nationals win it all. We know no more about any of those situations than we did Thursday. So, take a deep breath, take a few minutes to work through a poor weekend, and put it behind you.
I’ve written about Kenley Jansen a lot lately, as have our Dodgers reporters. To give you a fresh perspective, here’s a take from someone who knows the Dodgers pretty well and used to write about them for us.
These names seem familiar
Here’s how players who were with the Dodgers last season and earlier this season are doing around the majors this year (through Saturday):
Travis d’Arnaud, Rays, .261/.328/.469, 109 OPS+
Brian Dozier, Nationals, .233/.339/.437, 96 OPS+
Kyle Farmer, Reds, .245/.287/.422, 79 OPS+
Logan Forsythe, Rangers, .230/.332/.366, 78 OPS+
Yasmani Grandal, Brewers, .258/.381/.467, 118 OPS+
Daniel Hudson, Nationals, 6-3, 2.78 ERA, 3 saves
Tim Locastro, Diamondbacks, .250/.356/.344, 83 OPS+.
Manny Machado, Padres, .265/.335/.468, 110 OPS+
Yasiel Puig, Indians, .259/.314/.473, 99 OPS+
Alex Wood, Reds, 1-3, 6.07 ERA
Best record in baseball
The Dodgers are clinging to a narrow lead in the NL West, so let’s take a look at the race for best record in baseball, which will be used to determine home-field advantage in the World Series:
Dodgers, 86-46, ---
Houston Astros, 85-47, 1 GB
New York Yankees, 85-47, 1 GB
Minnesota Twins, 79-51, 6 GB
Atlanta Braves, 80-52, 6 GB
The first tiebreaker for World Series home-field advantage is head-to-head record. The second tiebreaker is best record against teams in their respective division (Dodgers vs. NL West) and the third tiebreaker is best record against teams in their own league (Dodgers vs. NL teams).
I get emails from readers wondering how the Dodgers fare in certain situations, so here’s that breakdown for you:
Day games: 25-11
One-run games: 24-16
Extra innings: 4-3
vs. NL East: 22-9
vs. NL Central: 22-11
vs. NL West: 36-18
vs. AL: 7-8
vs. RH starters: 61-29
vs. LH starters: 25-17
There are two wild-card teams in each league. They would have a one-game playoff to determine who moves on to play the team with the best record in the league. Here’s how the NL race shapes up.
Washington Nationals, 73-57
Chicago Cubs, 69-61
Philadelphia Phillies, 67-62, 1.5 GB
Milwaukee Brewers, 67-63, 2 GB
New York Mets, 67-63, 2 GB
San Francisco Giants, 65-65, 4 GB
Arizona Diamondbacks, 65-66, 4.5 GB
In case you missed it
Here are some stories you might want to check out:
More KTLA games
Five more Dodger games will be televised on KTLA Ch. 5 this season. They are:
Saturday, 5 p.m. at Arizona
Saturday, Sept. 7, 6 p.m. vs. San Francisco
Saturday, Sept. 14, 4 p.m. at New York Mets
Saturday, Sept. 21, 6 p.m. vs. Colorado Rockies
Saturday, Sept. 28, 1 p.m. at San Francisco
All times Pacific
Tonight: Dodgers (Dustin May) at San Diego (*Eric Lauer), 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Dodgers (Walker Buehler) at San Diego (Cal Quantrill), 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Dodgers (Kenta Maeda) at San Diego (TBA), 6 p.m.
1952 World Series Game 6. Watch it here.